If you’re anything like me, you love a good Rom Com. A love story so perfect it transports you to a fictitious world where nothing bad could ever happen, and if it does, it’s merely a stumble on the road to happily ever after. I grew up on Rom Coms, and though my tastes have evolved quite a bit since I was a child, one thing remains consistent–nothing gets me like a great love story. And so today, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Rom Coms to get you in the mood for the holiday! Because Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance, it’s about self-love, and nothing says self-care like watching a good old Romanic Comedy.
- Maid In Manhattan (2002)
The 2002 classic starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes is a Rom Com essential! For those uninitiated, the film follows Marisa Ventura (J Lo) a New York City hotel maid who gets mistaken as a socialite by one of the guests; political candidate Chris Waltz (Fiennes). What follows is 105 minutes of hilarity, as mishap after mishap plague the potential couple. Not only does this film star a Latina, but it just has one of my favorite Rom Com tropes. The idea of mistaken identity, leading people to fall in love gets me every time. And it can get you in the Valentine’s Day spirit! AND For my Teen Wolf fanatics, it’s important to note that this film also stars an absolutely adorable baby-faced Tyler Posey as her son Ty. If that hasn’t sold you yet, I don’t know what will!
Maid In Manhattan is available to rent on streaming platforms now!
- Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Looking at this ranking, I know what you must be thinking. Crazy, Stupid, Love in seventh place? The film stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Joey King, and Julianne Moore for Peet’s stake. It’s a movie that is both exceptionally romantic and emphatically comedic–how could it rank so low? And to that, I would like to assure you that Crazy, Stupid, Love’s placement isn’t an indication that I don’t like this film, but more so that there are others I love. All that to be said, Crazy, Stupid, Love is essentially the perfect Rom Com. It has the passion of La La Land with the hilarity of The Office. It’s silly and outlandish, but also heartwarming. It was the first Rom Com I saw that made me get actually excited about falling in love. Gosling and Stone’s sleepover scene was everything I’d ever wanted in a romance. And you’re not just getting one love story, you’re getting two! And a twist!
Crazy, Stupid, Love is available to rent on streaming platforms now!
- 13 Going On 30 (2004)
13 Going On 30 is a Rom Com that just feels like girlhood. Starring a hilarious Jennifer Garner, the film follows 13-year-old Jenna Rink–an adorkable teen who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. She wants so desperately to be cool, but when her lame friend Matt Flamhaff (later portrayed by Mark Ruffalo) ruins her birthday party, all she wishes for is the chance to fast forward the clock and turn thirty. To be thirty, flirty, and thriving. But you should always be careful what you wish for, and life in her thirties isn’t exactly everything she dreamed it would be. It’s a hilariously iconic film about the struggles of girlhood, finding your own place in the world, and breaking out of those childlike ideals. Maybe the hot guy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, maybe the popular girls aren’t always having fun, and maybe your best friend could even turn into something more.
13 Going On 30 is streaming on Netflix right now, or available to rent on other platforms!
- Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
The minute this film hit the scene I knew it was an instant classic. Crazy Rich Asians is the Comfort Rom Com. The love story is adorable, the characters are perfection, and the conflicts just get you right in the feels. The film, based on Kevin Kwan’s wildly successful book series, follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a brilliant university professor who joins her seemingly normal boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) on a trip to his hometown in Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. It’s only there that she realizes her longtime boyfriend’s family is actually incredibly rich, and, well, a bit insane.
While yes, Crazy Rich Asians is both romantic and comedic, it’s so much more than that. For starters, it was the first all-Asian cast in years, breaking records at the box office, and solidifying the importance of Asian representation. But even from a film perspective, the movie is chock-full of substance. There’s societal commentary about the expectations placed in Asian households, the toxic masculinity that can manifest, and the judgment when others choose to live outside of what one deems proper. And, the scene between Rachel Chu and Nick’s Mom (if you’ve seen the film, you know the one) makes me cry every single time. It’s an absolute smash hit, and if you haven’t seen this film, this Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to check it out!
Crazy Rich Asians is streaming on Hulu right now, or available to rent on other platforms!
- About Time (2013)
This rated R film hurts but in the best way possible. I went into About Time expecting it to be just another silly Rom Com. The premise being a perfectly ordinary man named Tim Lake (Black Mirror’s Domhnall Gleeson) discovers a family secret, that all the men in his family have the ability to travel through time–including him. This, obviously, leads to a lot of hilarious moments as he tries to be the perfect boyfriend to his potential love Mary, played by none other than Rachel McAdams. And while all that does happen, About Time is also potentially the most gutwrenching Rom Com ever (I am not counting The Fault In Our Stars, as that is on a whole other level of pain) about life, letting go, and grief. It’s heartbreaking in ways you wouldn’t expect and nuanced and touching and beautiful. About Time is a film I hold dear, and the way it views life and the very short time you get to spend in it is so incredibly meaningful. If you’re ready to potentially alter the way you see the world for a few days, I recommend checking out About Time.
About Time is available to rent on streaming platforms now!
- Legally Blonde (2001)
On the complete opposite side of the (legal) scale, is Legally Blonde. A film you most definitely have heard of and most likely have seen. But why not watch it again?! Legally Blonde is just that girl. The quintessential perfect, feminist, laugh-out-loud funny, Chick-flick rom-com movie. It follows the iconic Elle Woods, played expertly by Reese Witherspoon, as she decides to chase her ex-fiance Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) to Harvard Law to make him fall back in love with her. Through the help of her friend Paulette Bonafonté, played by the legend Jennifer Coolidge, and her time at Harvard she learns many lessons; hard work pays off, she is more than she thought she ever was, and even law students look better in pink.
As a theater girlie, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite musical Legally Blonde The Musical, which is available to watch on YouTube for free, or right above this line!
Legally Blonde the film is streaming on HBO right now, or available to rent on streaming platforms!
- The Last Holiday (2006)
The Last Holiday has been my favorite Rom Com since I was a child and was only recently upstaged. Even still, it is my go-to movie if I’m sick, or feeling sad, or feeling really happy and just wanting some nostalgia. Similar to Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Last Holiday has a star-studded cast with its leads, Queen Latifah and LL Cool J, and even a cameo from a young Halle Bailey. The film follows Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah), a shy department store worker who discovers she has a terminal illness. Upon this revelation, she decides to quit her job and do everything she’s ever wanted to do before she passes away. Her shyness turns to brashness, as she blows her money on memorable moments, fashion, and meals–living her absolute best life. And if you think you know how this film ends, I promise you, you don’t. This feel-good Rom Com is the perfect addition to any Valentine’s Night.
The Last Holiday is streaming on Paramount+ right now, or available to rent on streaming platforms!
- Your Name (2016)
Coming in at number one is a truly fantastic film that you may have never heard of, but I promise you’ll want to. Your Name follows two Japanese teenagers on opposite sides of the country, Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi) is a small-town girl dreaming of life in the big city, meanwhile Taki Tachibana (Kamiki Ryunosuke) is an aimless boy based in Tokyo. Their lives are forever changed when they discover they have the magical ability to switch places, inhabiting the other’s body for a day at a time. That connection becomes all the more complicated once they decide to meet in person, and twist after twist ensues. God I love this film. Watching it with my boyfriend was such a special experience. It’s so incredibly funny, between Taki being in a girl’s body, and her being smoother at talking to girls because she is one, this film nails humor in such an impressive way. But the film is more than jokes, hitting you like a brick wall with emotion. The score is perfection, with its anxiety-inducing piano and souring notes, it transforms you into the story. A story about wanting to be known, wanting to be loved, and more than anything feeling lost. I was literally glued to the screen, waiting to see what would happen next. And I know, some people looking at the image now may be thinking “Well anime isn’t really my thing.” But trust me, this is a Rom Com through and through. Check out the trailer, and then check out Makoto Shinkai’s masterpiece Your Name.
Your Name is streaming on Amazon Prime and Crunchyroll right now, or available to rent on streaming platforms!